Former player Amber Smith joining Matthew Mitchell’s staff

LEXINGTON, Ky. – A member of the most successful senior class in Kentucky women’s basketball history, former Wildcat guard Amber Smith has returned to Lexington and joined the women’s basketball support staff, head coach Matthew Mitchell announced Wednesday. Smith will be involved in a variety of areas within the program, helping the coaching staff with numerous tasks.

Offensive lineman Luke Fortner could be surprise in 2016 recruiting class

Luke Fortnter with UK coaches Mark Stoops, Vince Marrow and John Schlarman.

Luke Fortnter with UK coaches Mark Stoops, Vince Marrow and John Schlarman.

By LARRY VAUGHT

He’s a physical player who was ranked among the top 70 offensive linemen in the country when he signed with Kentucky in February.

Yet 6-6, 305-pound Luke Fortner was often overlooked in UK’s signing class because of the hype that went to in-state offensive linemen signees Landon  Young and Drake Jackson.

Kentucky offensive line coach John Schlarman is thrilled to have the Ohio offensive lineman  joining the Wildcats. He’s not only an honor roll student, but he also played center on the basketball team.

Don’t expect any stunning news out of Calipari press conference

John Calipari (Vicky Graff Photo)

John Calipari (Vicky Graff Photo)

By LARRY VAUGHT

John Calipari is having a press conference this afternoon.

Could he be announcing that Marcus Lee is coming back? Could it be to update the status of Isaiah Briscoe?

Maybe it is recruiting related and he knows Marques Bolden is going to sign with UK today?

Actually, I don’t think there is anything to read into the timing of today’s press conference. Here’s the statement UK released: “Due to some outstanding interview requests and because we were unable to conduct a season wrap-up media opportunity at the end of the basketball year, we will have an offseason media opportunity with Kentucky men’s basketball head coach John Calipari on Wednesday at 2 p.m. in the Memorial Coliseum media room.”

Kentucky falls 3-2 at Indiana; Reks has 3 hits, 2 RBIs

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. – Junior outfielder Zach Reks had three hits and drove in two runs, but the Kentucky baseball team lost at Indiana 3-2 on Tuesday night in non-conference action.

Kentucky (29-20) got on the board first, scoring a single run in the top of the third inning. Freshman outfielder Tristan Pompey drew a leadoff walk and advanced to second on a sacrifice bunt by catcher Troy Squires. Reks then singled to center field, scoring Pompey and giving the Cats a 1-0 lead.

ESPN2 will televise Draft Combine Thursday-Friday

Caron Butler (ESPN Photo)

Caron Butler (ESPN Photo)

ESPN2 will televise the 2016 NBA Draft Combine from 3-7 p.m. ET, on Thursday, May 12 and Friday, May 13. The event emanates from the Quest Multisport Complex in Chicago, Ill. This is the first in a series of ESPN 2016 NBA Draft events, which also includes the 2016 NBA Draft Lottery presented by State Farm (May 17) and the 2016 NBA Draft (June 23).

Four UK softball players earn All-SEC honors

LEXINGTON, Ky. – Four Kentucky softball players were named to the All-Southeastern Conference postseason teams, it was announced on Tuesday afternoon by the league office. Senior pitcher Kelsey Nunley was named first-team All-SEC in addition to being named the SEC Pitcher of the year, Abbey Cheek was named to the SEC All-Freshman Team, and seniors Maisie Steed and Christian Stokes were named to the SEC All-Defensive Team.

Those four awards combined with head coach Rachel Lawson being named the SEC’s Coach of the Year gives Kentucky five postseason conference awards – a new program record, surpassing the four gained by the 2011 team that got Kentucky to its first-ever NCAA Super Regional that season.

Kelsey Nunley SEC Pitcher of the Year

Kelsey Nunley (UK Athletics Photo)

Kelsey Nunley (UK Athletics Photo)

LEXINGTON, Ky. – The best player in Kentucky softball history’s career just got harder to top, as senior pitcher Kelsey Nunley was named the Southeastern Conference’s 2016 Pitcher of the Year on Tuesday morning, as she becomes the first Kentucky softball in program history to earn that honor.

Nunley just capped off the best regular season pitching performance in program history on Sunday with her seventh complete-game shutout of the year as she helped Kentucky clinch second place outright in the SEC for the first time in program history. Nunley set a new regular-season ERA record, posting a 1.26 ERA in her 31 appearances, which was more than five tenths of a run better than anyone had ever recorded in one season in UK history.

Rachel Lawson named SEC Coach of the Year

Rachel Lawson (UK Athletics Photo)

Rachel Lawson (UK Athletics Photo)

Vaught’s note: Kentucky softball coach Rachel Lawson was named the SEC’s top coach today. A few hours earlier this is the column I had on lex18.com. Enjoy. http://www.lex18.com/story/31932512/rachel-lawson-deserves-to-be-sec-coach-of-the-year

LEXINGTON, Ky. – For the first time in her distinguished career, Kentucky softball head coach Rachel Lawson was crowned the Southeastern Conference Coach of the Year after guiding the Wildcats to a 43-11 regular season record, the best in program history.

Lawson led Kentucky to not only a program-best 43-11 regular season record, but a 17-7 SEC record, good enough for outright second place in the toughest softball conference in the nation, which was the highest finish in program history.

Should Ed Davender’s jersey be retired?

By LARRY VAUGHT

The recent passing of former Kentucky basketball player Ed Davender at age 49 has caused many UK fans to speculate on whether the former point guard should have his jersey retired and hanging in the Rupp Arena rafters.

The case for Davender is based on that he’s the only UK player to score more than 1,500 points and have 400 or more assists. His 1,637 points rank 11th on UK’s all-time scoring list. He had 436 career assists and 197 steals. He was also an 80 percent shooter at the foul line.

Another recruit de-commits from Kentucky

Matthew Mitchell lost another recruit Monday. (Vicky Graff Photo)

Matthew Mitchell lost another recruit Monday. (Vicky Graff Photo)

By LARRY VAUGHT

The hits just  keep coming for the Kentucky women’s basketball team.

Bullitt East junior Lindsey Duvall, a four-star point guard and one of the top 20 players in the 2017 recruiting class, has de-committed from UK. Two other recruits had already done the same thing since the season ended.

One of the top players in the 2017 recruiting class has reopened her commitment from the University of Kentucky.